I’ve been sewing for myself a lot this spring, which has been both fun and energizing. One of the things I love when I’m in a phase like this is that the more I sew, the more I want to be sewing. Certainly it is nice to have new clothes, but it’s like a faucet has been turned on and the ideas just keep coming. I want to share with you how my process has been unfolding with one of my skirt projects.
This particular project started because I wanted to make two different skirts to wear with a French-style jacket that I’ve been working on – a straight skirt out of self-fabric, and a fuller style skirt. So I pulled out an old pattern, Butterick 3589. When I made it years ago, I’d altered the pattern so that it had an extended or Hollywood waist.
When it comes to comfort, almost all of us have pet peeves, and mine is having something tight around my waist. With an extended waist, I find that the skirt just floats over the waist. Plus, there’s quite a bit of leeway in the fit with the fluctuation of my stomach being rounder and softer one day compared to another.
Before cutting into the silk satin-faced georgette to go with the French-style jacket, I made a wearable mock-up from an embroidered silk doupioni fabric. The fabric had been pre-washed – perfect for Baltimore’s hot and humid summer weather since the skirt can be laundered, and the pre-washing made the doupioni softened quite a bit.
I feel a sense of freedom when I make a wearable mock-up because I don’t feel like so much is at stake if it doesn’t turn out perfectly. This one is a winner, and I’ve already worn it several times. The waist is oh-so comfortable, and I’m glad I thought to make the waist facing from cotton batiste so there’s no embroidery against my skin. I find that it’s small details like that that really help me to feel at ease.
When I wear the skirt, I feel both “breezy” and “put together.” The washed doupioni is perfect: there’s enough structure so that the fullness of the skirt doesn’t collapse altogether, yet the skirt isn’t too stiff.
This skirt pattern is definitely a keeper. In addition to a companion for my French-style jacket, I already have plans to make the skirt from a linen print.